Director of Special Events

Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) values staff diversity and actively encourages people from a variety of backgrounds with different experiences, perspectives, skills, and stories to apply in order to advance our nonprofit mission and enrich our organizational culture. All staff will work with others throughout the organization to implement and exemplify policies as part of TPAC’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, access, and equity. TPAC is a nonprofit performing arts organization and cultural anchor providing enriching arts experiences for all ages, empowering lifelong arts education programs, artistic expression reflective of our community, arts connections that support the local economy, and sustainable support for professional resident companies and local artists.

Objective:

TPAC is seeking an experienced special events director to join our team. This role will be responsible for creating and executing a variety of key events and experiences for the organization. The ideal candidate is passionate, creative, detail oriented, and dedicated to providing superb client service at every turn. This role requires expertise in all aspects of event planning, including cost containment, venue scouting, equipment logistics, room setup, and a wealth of best practices. S/He will also have excellent leadership skills and the ability to prioritize responsibilities to meet quality expectations. The best fit for our organization is an event planner who can manage the daily details with big picture thinking to ensure truly unique experiences.

This position directs all aspects of fundraising events for TPAC which includes but are not limited to, cultivation, stewardship, capital, and recognition events ie. Gala, Family Day, Annual Stewardship Reception, Partnership Luncheon, President’s Reception, Next Gen @ TPAC Kickoff Event, Capital Campaign Dinners, etc.

This position will also oversee Donor Lounge operations and assist with Donor Trips. Estimated total number of events (excluding Donor Lounge) are between 25-35 annually.

The Director oversees the comprehensive logistics plan, along with fiscal and volunteer management of each event. The Director maintains close relationships with vendors and in-kind partners.

Essential Functions & Expectations:

Under the direction of the Vice President of Leadership Giving, ensures the vision and goals of TPAC fundraising, appreciation, and cultivation efforts tied to events are successfully achieved.

  • Along with the Vice President of Leadership Giving, establishes fundraising goals for each special event and strategies to attain goals.
  • Develops and manages event budgets to achieve year-over-year revenue growth. Works with Senior Manager of Development Operations to maximize revenue and minimize expenses.
  • Oversees the planning and execution of TPAC’s Be Bold capital campaign events, including 10-12 small annual engagements plus groundbreaking and opening.
  • Manages TPAC’s Donor Lounge. Responsibilities include but are not limited to, budgeting, assigning and managing of team staffing schedule and donor lounge ambassadors, vendor management, metrics and assessment of activation and creation efficiencies, and overall donor/member experience.
  • Establishes overall strategies, tactics, and working timelines for each event with focus on strict deadlines and budget demands.
  • Nurtures and builds relationships with TPAC departments, vendors, venues, and other industry contacts to craft and implement creative and logistical aspects of all events.
  • Stays current, and often ahead of the curve, on event planning, design, and production trends, proactively identifying and solving operational challenges.
  • Complies with legal, insurance, health, and safety regulations at all times.
  • Coordinates with internal staff, clients, vendors, and others to establish needs for events, and serves as liaison to senior level executives and industry leaders throughout the planning process.
  • Research and sources venue locations, makes site visits, and leads pre-event meetings when necessary to help leadership make decisions about event design.
  • Plans and facilitates logistics for all events, including contract negotiations, guest lists, venue preparation, security, catering, entertainment, ground and airline transportation, AV equipment, décor, and marketing materials.
  • Collaborates with TPAC Marketing & Communication department to assist in creation of communication campaigns for each event that includes electronic, print pieces and in some cases a program App.
  • Oversees successful client experiences from conception through post-event, managing on-site preparations, production, and event breakdown, ensuring consistent, high-level service throughout all phases.
  • Responsible for post-meeting budget results, communicating results to management, and measuring ROI.
  • Maintains and builds a comprehensive database of industry contacts, vendors, and venues that align with our diversity, equity and inclusion values.
  • Troubleshoots and handles any issues that arise leading up to and on the event day.
  • Establishes & oversees volunteer management for each event by creating job descriptions & sustainable standard procedures required to execute the event. Fosters training & expectations for volunteers to ensure a meaningful experience.
  • Develops volunteer committee structure for each special fundraising event.
  • Manages and plans departmental special events calendar. Ensures timeline of special events calendar is prepared efficiently and communicated effectively across all TPAC departments.
  • Implements stewardship plan for each event’s supporters to increase renewal rates and build affinity.
  • Continually identifies stewardship opportunities and assists with execution of efforts to further build and develop donor and partner relationships.
  • Participates in moves management process with other development staff. With the Vice President, manages “pipeline” to identify/cultivate new volunteers, ensure volunteer retention/participation and develop leadership succession.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Secondary Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Represents TPAC in the community while also actively visible at TPAC special events.
  • Maintains a presence in the Donor Lounge at select TPAC performances. Attendance at evening and weekend functions is expected on rotation.
  • Contributes to overall team effort in planning and development and shares in the decision-making process, implementing and promoting all decisions in a spirit of collaboration.
  • Assists in departmental functions and special events and performs other duties when necessary to ensure the overall smooth operation of the department.
  • Attends weekly in-person team meetings.
  • Serves as Development Department representative at Operations Department meetings.
  • Acts as an ambassador and positive example of TPAC at events both internally and externally.
  • *The responsibilities listed above are not all inclusive. Other related duties may be assigned.

Qualifications & Core Competencies:

  • At least 5 years+ Event & Conference Planning experience, CMP certification preferable
  • Superior time and project management skills – ability to plan multiple events at different stages in the process
  • Creative problem solving – ability to provide out of the box solutions while remaining on time and within budget
  • Ability to interface with all staff levels, including TPAC Leadership
  • Strong work ethic and an internal drive to execute goals and deliverables
  • Enthusiasm and passion to work with people
  • A “Hospitality first” mindset – ability to build relationships with people quickly, anticipate needs, and provide white glove service.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills and attention to detail
  • Must be able to handle sensitive/confidential information.
  • Ability to lift boxes 20-35 pounds
  • Supports TPAC’s Diversity, Inclusion, Access and Equity (DIAE) program.
  • Occasional nights and weekend work is required

TPAC is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. All aspects of the employment process will be merit-based and applied without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, ender identity, marital status, age, disability, national or ethnic origin, military service status, citizenship, or other protected characteristic.

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